|Gill Hickman, Sustainability Co-ordinator and students from|
Ringwood School showcasing New Forest Marque produce.
The ‘Cook for the Queen’ competition, organised by Love British Food, is an opportunity for schools to prepare a special Diamond Jubilee menu for Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace. Schools are asked to design a canapé menu that celebrates local produce from where they live.
The winning menus will be served at a reception at Buckingham Palace attended by The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall.
The New Forest Marque aims to help promote local produce and is the only audited scheme like it in the country, with nearly 130 members.
Sarah Hunt, New Forest Marque Manager, said: ‘The New Forest is The Queen’s larder – as the Forestry Commission manages the Crown lands on her behalf. The New Forest has had a strong link with the monarchy since William the Conqueror declared it his royal hunting ground in 1079.
‘The Forest is famous for its venison, wild mushrooms and pannage pork*. We have great food on our doorstep that needs to be celebrated.
‘The school will also be working closely with the National Park Authority’s Education Team which will be teaching pupils about the history of New Forest food. This is an important part of the competition for students to understand where their food comes from.’
Gill Hickman, Sustainability Co-ordinator at Ringwood School, said: ‘The students have a passion for growing and cooking. This competition combines both local food and grow-your-own. I am looking forward to seeing what ideas the students will come up with.’
‘It is important to support local producers,’ said Aiden Chitty a sixth form Principal Student at Ringwood School who is part of the ‘Cook for the Queen’ team. ‘We should be proud of the food available in the New Forest. It is too easy to go to the supermarket and not pay attention to what we are buying.’
The students will work with teacher Sarah Stewart and will receive a helping hand from James Golding, Head Chef at The Pig in Brockenhurst. ‘I can’t wait to get involved in the project,’ said James. ‘The ‘Cook for the Queen’ team is going to come to The Pig with recipe ideas and I am going to bring them to life.’
The competition was launched at a special lunch at Ringwood School where students were treated to local New Forest Marque produce from Tatchbury Manor Farm, Lyburn Cheese, The Real Jam and Chutney Company, Spice ‘n’ Easy and Scotch eggs from The Mill at Gordleton. The closing date for entries is Monday 30 April and the winners will be announced in mid-May.